NFL Earn $2 Billion In Sponsorships, The Most In Pro Sport

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The NFL is approaching almost $2billion in sponsorship fees according to the latest revenue figures, meaning the highest in professional sports across the world. The National Football League has long been one of the most appealing sports to businesses, and with the change in laws to now allow sponsorship deals with gambling firms, it’s led to a sharp rise in revenue coming in.

The agreements with betting firms, alongside technology brands was a major factor in the $1.8billion that came through the sport in partnerships, a 12% increase year-on-year and over $300million up on that of the 2019 season. It’s interesting that the NFL are already reaping the rewards of the legalisation of online gambling in many states, with cities like Las Vegas also seeing a huge boom as online casinos and sportsbooks like Bet Bull integrate themselves into the every day lives of the residents. Both are hugely growing industries, with online casino sites generating millions in revenue each and every year. Opening that door, like many other US sports now have, will likely be seen as a main revenue stream over the coming years for the NFL.

Deals have already been struck with the likes of DraftKing, FanDuel and Caesars, all of whom have five year deals with the NFL work just short of $1billion, while a number of other sportsbooks and casinos are also on board with the football league. Partnership consultancy firm IEG revealed their thoughts on the sponsorship deals, with global managing director Peter Laatz stating, “It’s not coming from traditional places. It’s coming from emerging categories. Not only are we seeing emerging talent on the field; we’re seeing emerging categories.” 

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Gambling is certainly among those, seeing the biggest increase in growth over the 2021 season, while their partnership with communications firm Verizon has also been a prominent partnership worth around $300million per year over 10 years. Deals with Microsoft, worth around $100million per year has also placed the tech industry as one of the NFLs main partnership categories, while brands such as Anheuser-Busch are also seeing successful partnerships forming in the alcoholic beverage industry, with that deal worth $250million.

The NFL will be looking to expand in those areas, but they will also continue to furrow a path in other emerging markets, with crypto one that is certainly being touted. So far though they are remaining cautious. As late as October last year at the NFL’s owner meeting in New York it was discussed that deals related to crypto are still being examined, but even with such a delay with the emerging markets they are already benefiting from the NFL is still in an excellent position. Laatz added, “The thing they are leaving on the table right now is risk.”

It is a risk that has already been taken by some leagues though. The NBA announced a deal with Coinbase late last year worth a huge $192million across four years, the first deal of its kind, while a number of teams have also entered the crypto market with the LA Lakers unveiling a $700million naming rights deal with Crypto.com. The Portland Trailblazers have also formed a partnership with crypto firms, while Major League Baseball has secured a sponsorship patch with a crypto firm on their umpires jersey.

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With so many other sports and franchises across the USA having already struck deals, it seems like that’s only a matter of time, which will significantly increase partnership revenue for the NFL once again as it continues to ride the crest of the wave created by the likes of gambling and technology over the last few years.

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